That is a jumbo field goal, although Bitancurt wouldn’t know it.
“I don’t know how far it was. I just go out and kick,” he said.
It is, certainly at this point, unfair to offer comparisons between him and McAfee, whose address these days is in Indianapolis where he punts for the Colts. The two were not close when McAfee was here for his final year, he being a senior and Bitancurt a redshirt freshman, although he did offer as much help as he could.
But they are different personalities, McAfee more of a free spirit and comedian than is Bitancurt, but the observant ones in the stands noted that Bitancurt was wearing a No. 40 jersey, McAfee’s number.
“I didn’t pick it out. It was given to me, but I like it,” he said.
After hitting the 45-yarder, Bitancurt was called upon one more time, pumping one home from 36 yards out with 15 seconds remaining in the third quarter. This one was close to being blocked, a defender getting the tip of a finger on it.
“The last one was low and was tipped, but he has such a strong leg it still went through,” Stewart said.
Even though Bitancurt had as much success as he did this week, Stewart expects to follow the same game plan with him next week.
“From the 35 to the 25-yard line, going in, I’m going to consider it four-down territory. I don’t want to give them the all on the 35-yard line. If we get to the 25 and don’t score a touchdown or miss a field goal we can live with that. That’s a 75-yard drive,” Stewart said.
But don’t bet if the game is on the line and it comes down to a long field goal or a “Hail, Mary” pass that Stewart won’t think the odds are better on making the long field goal.
E-mail Bob Hertzel at firstname.lastname@example.org.